No. 18 ASU prepares for showdown with No. 1 Kansas
When Arizona State rolled out of Phog Allen Fieldhouse with a 95-85 victory last season, the suddenly resurgent Sun Devils put their name back on the college basketball map.
The win over the nation’s No. 2 team and one of the sport’s blue bloods, was the biggest victory in program history and the first time in three tries the Sun Devils got the best of a Kansas ranked at No. 2.
Now, with No. 1 Kansas (10-0) making a return trip to Tempe to play No. 18 Arizona State at 7 p.m. today, the Sun Devils (8-2) get their second crack at upsetting a top-ranked team and a chance at evening the all-time series with the Jayhawks in the 10th meeting between the two teams.
While less experienced than the squad that won in Lawrence last season, ASU may have more talent on the floor.
Luguentz Dort is the sixth-highest freshman scorer in the nation, averaging a shade under 20 points per game and sophomore guard Remy Martin, now a full-time starter, is averaging 11.6 points per game while leading the Sun Devils offense. Redshirt senior Zylan Cheatham, a transfer from San Diego State, registered ASU’s second-ever triple double earlier this month. All three have earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.
ASU’s only other game against a No. 1 team went poorly. Kentucky beat the Sun Devils 115-69 in 2016 game in the Bahamas on the way to an Elite Eight appearance that season. This is the sixth time the Sun Devils have played a top-10 nonconference opponent in four years under head coach Bobby Hurley.